Day 321: Thanksgiving by Trader Joe’s

The only thing Lindsay and I do really well in the kitchen is eat. Neither of us has any confidence in ourselves or each other to create anything edible. The idea of cooking more than one thing at a time gives us both heart palpitations. Since Thanksgiving this year is mostly up to us, and we’re inept and severely handicapped by children wanting to “help,” the only thing we’re actually cooking is the turkey. The rest comes from a variety of boxes that say “Trader Joe’s” on them. The pumpkin pie comes in a plastic container that also says “Trader Joe’s” on it.

It’s about being together with family, right? So why spend the whole time cutting garlic and underestimating how long it takes potatoes to be soft. My main man Trader Joe has spent years perfecting ways to make everything easy and hassle free. I’m gonna just trust him with my holiday. Here’s proof:

Usually, I would avoid eating anything provided by someone who calls themselves a trader. “Oh, yea, these cookies are awesome. I traded my running shoes for them. Really, Joe? Hmm, if it’s all the same to you, I think I’ll pass on the cookies you paid for with old running shoes. I just don’t feel all that confident in you, or the quality of cookies from a person who accepts footwear as payment.”

“Whatever, bro. They’re delicious.” I’m pretty sure Trader Joe calls everyone “bro.” I think you have to when you base your entire life on the barter system.

I wish Trader Joe’s was really like that. You could bring in an old broken tripod and get some chips and salsa for it. You could spend every weekend de-cluttering and be rewarded with a microwaveable feast. Here’s an example of how the “prices” might work.

Box of Cliff Bars – 6 random socks, or a board game.

Gallon of Milk – 2 articles of out of season clothing. Sweater in the summer, rollerskates in the winter.

Microwaveable Pizza – 14 Discmans, 4 unused picture frames, or an old tent.

Those are just some ideas. I have no clue how Trader Joe’s would make any money from this, and that’s why I’m staying away from making any business or financial decisions.

Happy Thanksgiving. If you need me, I’ll be adding water and butter to things.

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

2 comments On Day 321: Thanksgiving by Trader Joe’s

  • you should have gone for the Tj's turkey too, it was delicious. there's always next year… ah tradition…

  • They were sampling that cornbread stuffing with chicken sausage when I was at my local Trader Joe's last week. It was so good that I wanted to buy some, and I hate stuffing. And I wasn't cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

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